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1 US: Column: Innocents Die in the Drug WarMon, 15 Dec 2008
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:O'Grady, Mary Anastasia Area:United States Lines:103 Added:12/15/2008

Of all the casualties claimed by the U.S. "war on drugs" in Latin America, perhaps none so fully captures its senselessness and injustice as the 2001 CIA-directed killing of Christian missionary Veronica Bowers and her daughter Charity in Peru.

No one is suggesting that the CIA intentionally killed Mrs. Bowers and her baby. It was an accident.

But according to Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.), it was an accident waiting to happen because of the way in which the CIA operated the drug interdiction plan in Peru known as the Airbridge Denial Program. Mr. Hoekstra says the goods to prove his charge are in a classified report from the CIA Inspector General that he received in October. Under the program, initiated by President Clinton, the CIA was charged with identifying small civilian aircraft suspected of carrying cocaine over Peru on a path to Colombia, and directing the Peruvian military to force them down.

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2 US: Family Racked by CIA Cover-UpMon, 24 Nov 2008
Source:Daily Press (Newport News,VA) Author:Sturdevant, Matthew Area:United States Lines:164 Added:11/24/2008

The Agency Lied About a 2001 Plane Downing in Peru That Killed a Woman and Her Daughter, a Report Says.

Former Poquoson resident Gloria Luttig learned this week that her daughter's and granddaughter's deaths were shrouded by a CIA cover-up.

"My daughter was murdered. My granddaughter was murdered," Luttig said during a phone interview from her home in Pace, Fla., outside Pensacola.

Veronica L. "Roni" Bowers, 35, was aboard a small floatplane April 20, 2001, flying with her husband and two children from Brazil to their houseboat on the Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru, where they lived and worked as missionaries.

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3 US: U.S. Drops Criminal Inquiry of C.I.A. Antidrug Effort in PeruSun, 06 Feb 2005
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Jehl, Douglas Area:United States Lines:154 Added:02/08/2005

WASHINGTON - After a secret three-year investigation, federal prosecutors have decided to end a criminal inquiry into whether at least four Central Intelligence Agency officers lied to lawmakers and their agency superiors about a clandestine antidrug operation that ended in 2001 with the fatal downing of a plane carrying American missionaries, Justice Department officials said this week.

"The Justice Department has declined a criminal prosecution," said Bryan Sierra, a Justice Department spokesman, in response to a question about the previously undisclosed investigation. The conduct under scrutiny was part of a C.I.A. operation authorized by President Bill Clinton beginning in 1994 to help the Peruvian Air Force to interfere with drug flights over the country.

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4US FL: Missionary's Death Haunts Parents For AnswersMon, 07 Feb 2005
Source:Pensacola News Journal (FL) Author:Norman, Brett Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:02/07/2005

Criminal Probe Dropped In Downing Of Peru Plane

Gloria and John Luttig had no idea that federal prosecutors had been investigating a clandestine Central Intelligence Agency operation that was shut down after a Peruvian Air Force jet fired on a small propeller airplane, killing the Luttigs' missionary daughter and their infant grandchild.

The Luttigs, who live in Pace, reacted with frustration and anger to the revelation Sunday that the Justice Department last week dropped a criminal inquiry into whether four CIA officers lied to lawmakers and their superiors about a program that involved CIA surveillance airplanes helping the Peruvian Air Force intercept drug smugglers.

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5 Brazil: Web: Brazil To Shoot Down Drugs PlanesWed, 23 Jun 2004
Source:BBC News (UK Web)          Area:Brazil Lines:78 Added:06/23/2004

Brazil is close to adopting a plan to shoot down aircraft suspected of carrying narcotics over the Amazon jungle, the government has said.

Colombia and Peru called a halt to the controversial practice in 2001 after the Peruvian air force mistakenly shot down a plane carrying missionaries.

But experts say cocaine smugglers are violating Brazilian airspace to reach regional cities and markets abroad.

Brasilia and Washington may share information to combat drug trafficking.

Series of safeguards

"It is the kind of measure one hopes never to have to enforce," said Defence Minister Jose Viegas, according to the O Globo news website.

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6 US CO: The Maverick Telluride LawmanThu, 20 May 2004
Source:Westword (CO) Author:Prendergast, Alan Area:Colorado Lines:611 Added:05/23/2004

Bill Masters Is No Dope.

So What Turned Him Against the War on Drugs?

In the big city, the search would take him down mean streets, to a ratty duplex or a motel bathroom or some tweaker's garage. But the resort town of Telluride has no mean streets, and the rest of San Miguel County, where Masters has been sheriff for the past 25 years, has almost no streets at all.

But that doesn't mean that this sinfully scenic county is a drug-free zone. Dope is everywhere, if you want to go hunting for it. On this particular morning in early May, Masters has solid intelligence about a suspected methamphetamine operation tucked deep in the woods, and he wants to eyeball the place himself before sending any of his deputies into harm's way. So he slips behind the wheel of a 1995 white Bronco -- the oldest vehicle in his agency's fleet -- and heads for the high country.

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7 Colombia: Wire: Colombia Drops Plan to Fumigate Drug CropsFri, 26 Mar 2004
Source:Associated Press (Wire)          Area:Colombia Lines:69 Added:03/27/2004

Herbicides Will Be Last Resort Inside Nature Reserves

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Faced with an outcry from environmentalists, the Colombian government suspended plans to use spray planes to fumigate drug crops in the country's spectacular nature reserves.

Environment Minister Sandra Suarez said Wednesday that authorities will instead try to destroy coca and opium fields in national parks by hand, and only if the effort fails will they consider resorting to herbicides.

The decision comes after environmental groups warned that aerial fumigation could cause irreparable damage to Colombia's scenic treasures.

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8US FL: Editorial: Potential For TragedyTue, 02 Sep 2003
Source:St. Petersburg Times (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:09/02/2003

After a two-year break, sparked by the reckless killing of an American missionary and her infant daughter, the U.S. government has resumed its support for Colombia's policy of shooting down suspected drug planes. The barbarity of conspiring with foreign military officers to act as judge, jury and executioner is as indefensible now - legally, morally and practically - as it was when Peru, with U.S. assistance, shot Veronica Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity, from the sky.

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9US WA: Column: Good News Won't Stick To Peru's PresidentSat, 30 Aug 2003
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Sanchez, Marcela Area:Peru Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2003

WASHINGTON -- Ronald Reagan is generally recognized as the original "Teflon president." No matter what went wrong during his two-term presidency in the '80s, whether outside his control or not, he remained popular -- no allegation or bad news seemed to stick to him, as if he were treated with a non-stick coating.

In Latin America, where growing disaffection toward democracy is further eroding public confidence in politicians, a new kind of Teflon presidency has emerged. Today, it is best personified by President Alejandro Toledo of Peru, but with a somewhat cruel twist: For Toledo, not even the best of news sticks.

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10US CA: Editorial: Drug War Does Not Justify Shooting Down PlanesWed, 27 Aug 2003
Source:Modesto Bee, The (CA)          Area:Colombia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/28/2003

An American Baptist missionary and her infant daughter were killed 2 1/2 years ago when a Peruvian air force pilot shot down a small plane - -- even after U.S. intelligence monitors expressed doubts that the craft might not be used by drug-runners, as first suspected.

That led to a suspension of such flights in Peru and Colombia and an admonition by a Senate committee that they not resume until strict safeguards were in place to avoid a tragic recurrence. At the time, the committee recommended the shoot-down policy be reconsidered. That's still good advice.

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11US CA: Editorial: Don't Shoot FirstWed, 27 Aug 2003
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/27/2003

Drug Interdiction Should Avoid Deadly Force

An American Baptist missionary and her infant daughter were killed 2 1/2 years ago when a Peruvian air force pilot shot down a small plane -- even after U.S. intelligence monitors expressed doubts that the craft might not be engaged in drug-running, as first suspected. That led to a suspension of such flights, in Peru and in Colombia, and an admonition by a Senate committee that they not resume until strict safeguards were in place to avoid a tragic recurrence, and even then that the shoot-down policy be reconsidered. That's still good advice. But now Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says the Bush administration supports a Colombian plan to resume drug interdiction flights employing deadly force, and the New York Times quotes officials as saying a resumption is also likely in Peru.

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12 Colombia: Plan Colombia - The SequelSat, 23 Aug 2003
Source:Economist, The (UK)          Area:Colombia Lines:119 Added:08/27/2003

American Aid Has Produced Some Results In Colombia. That Is One Reason Why It Is Turning Into A Long-Term Commitment

Bogota - It is not quite Afghanistan, but outside that country and the Middle East, it is the American's most expensive foreign entanglement. Since 2000, under an aid programme known as "Plan Colombia", the United States has pumped in some $2.4 billion in military and economic aid, aimed at fighting drugs and the rebel armies that feed upon them. Under Alvaro Uribe, a stern Liberal who took office as Colombia's president a year ago, this aid has started to show results.

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13 US TX: Editorial: It's Time To Regroup In The War On DrugsThu, 21 Aug 2003
Source:Odessa American (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:103 Added:08/27/2003

THE POINT - Why Shouldn't Our Individual Liberties Be The Guideline?

The U.S. government recently approved a return to anti-drug flights over Colombia. Those flights were suspended two years ago after a Peruvian fighter mistakenly shot down a plane, killing missionary Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter.

The mistake was blamed on a breakdown in procedures and a lack of communication between U.S. operatives and the Peruvian air force. Those problems have been solved, according to government sources in the United States. However, the flights will not resume over Peru, due to a lack of planes and radar in that South American country.

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14 US FL: US Set To Help Colombia Intercept PlanesThu, 21 Aug 2003
Source:Miami Herald (FL) Author:Robles, Frances Area:Florida Lines:89 Added:08/23/2003

BOGOTA - In less than two days, the United States will start helping the Colombian Air Force to force down planes suspected of flying drugs and weapons, using a new safety checklist designed to prevent deadly mishaps, officials from both countries said Wednesday.

The program in which U.S. government contractors assisted the Colombian and Peruvian air forces to track and force or shoot down suspect planes was suspended April 2001 after the Peruvian jet shot down a missionary flight mistaken for a drug smuggling plane. A Michigan woman and her infant daughter were killed, revealing a series of sloppy procedures that caused the tragedy.

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15 Colombia: US Restates Its Support Of ColombiaWed, 20 Aug 2003
Source:Miami Herald (FL) Author:Robles, Frances Area:Colombia Lines:97 Added:08/21/2003

Rumsfeld Sees 'Progress' By The Military

BOGOTA - U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Tuesday joined the parade of top U.S. officials visiting Colombia to show support for President Alvaro Uribe and the security forces' progress in their war against drugs and guerrillas.

''We admire and respect the progress being made and the determination being shown,'' Rumsfeld told reporters at a news conference.

Rumsfeld also announced that a U.S.-backed program to interdict airplanes carrying drugs and weapons would resume ''within hours or a few days,'' 29 months after it was suspended following the mistaken shoot-down of an American missionary's plane in Peru. President George W. Bush ordered it resumed, following a safety study aimed at preventing future mishaps.

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16 US TX: Editorial: Waving Banner Of Failed Drug WarThu, 14 Aug 2003
Source:Valley Morning Star (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:95 Added:08/18/2003

The U.S. government has approved a return to anti-drug flights over Colombia. Those flights were suspended two years ago after a Peruvian fighter mistakenly shot down a plane, killing missionary Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter.

The mistake was blamed on a breakdown in procedures and a lack of communication between U.S. operatives and the Peruvian air force. Those problems have been solved, according to government sources in the United States. However, the flights will not resume over Peru because of a lack of planes and radar in that South American country.

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17US: Transcripts: CNN: The Forgotten War [all parts]Fri, 08 Aug 2003
Source:CNN (US Web)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2003

[Monday, 4 August]

DOBBS: Tonight, we begin a series of special reports this week on the war on drugs. We call it "The Forgotten War." It's a war that costs American taxpayers $12 billion a year to stop the flow of drugs into this country.

Lisa Sylvester reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After 30 years of fighting the drug war, U.S. law enforcement officials have been changing their approach. Instead of simply looking at the drug war based on supply and demand, they now look at it as a business, attacking growers, shippers, wholesalers, and retailers.

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18 Colombia: US Drug Flights To Resume In ColombiaWed, 06 Aug 2003
Source:Miami Herald (FL)          Area:Colombia Lines:56 Added:08/07/2003

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell has approved the resumption of U.S. surveillance flights over Colombia, which then guide Colombian air force jets to drug planes that can be shot down, after a two-year suspension imposed when a plane carrying American missionaries was mistakenly shot down, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The official said the White House is expected to announce the resumption of the drug surveillance flights Thursday, when President Alvaro Uribe observes his first anniversary in office.

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19 Colombia: U.S. Expected To Ok Resumption Of Anti-Drug Flights In ColombiaWed, 06 Aug 2003
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Marquis, Christopher Area:Colombia Lines:50 Added:08/07/2003

WASHINGTON - President Bush is expected to approve the resumption of anti-drug surveillance flights in Colombia that result in the forcible grounding or destruction of planes suspected of smuggling narcotics, officials said Tuesday.

This so called shoot-down policy in Colombia and Peru was suspended two years ago after a small plane flying over Peru was identified as suspicious and later shot down. An American missionary, Veronica Bowers, and her infant daughter, Charity, were killed in the crash.

An inquiry by U.S. and Peruvian officials found that a disastrous series of mistakes, aggravated by language problems and procedural shortcuts, had caused the incident. Since then the Bush administration, which provides intelligence to those tracking the flights, has negotiated with Peru and Colombia to impose safeguards.

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20US: Transcript: The Forgotten War Part 2Tue, 05 Aug 2003
Source:CNN (US Web)          Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:08/07/2003

[snip]

DOBBS: This week, we are reporting on "The Forgotten War," the war against drugs.

Secretary of State Colin Powell has recommended that the United States resume its backing of anti-drug flights over Colombia. Reuters quotes unnamed administration officials who say President Bush is likely to approve the recommendation.

Those flights were halted two years ago after an aircraft carrying a U.S. missionary was shot down in Peru. It had been mistaken for a drug running plane.

Last night here, we reported on efforts to control the international supply of drugs before they enter this country. Tonight, we report on what's being done to stop drugs produced in this country as we continue our series of special reports, "The Forgotten War."

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